Twelve students will participate in the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith’s Chancellor’s Leadership Council scholarship program during the 2017-18 school year, a highly competitive program for students demonstrating leadership capabilities and strong academic performance.
Students selected for the scholarship enroll in a three-hour leadership course taught by Dr. Paul B. Beran, UAFS chancellor, with assistance from Jordan Hale, director of government and university relations. Students also embrace leadership roles on campus and complete service projects in the community.
Students in this year’s class are:
- Alec Armstrong, history major with social studies teacher licensure and son of Dustin and Jennifer Smith. Armstrong graduated from Greenwood High School, where he participated in National Honor Society, Beta Club, Partners Club, and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, in addition to being a member of the high school basketball team.
“I am beyond excited to be a member of such a prestigious class,” Armstrong said. “I am looking forward to being able to step outside the box and push myself in ways I never expected. I can't wait to become a better leader in and out of the classroom.”
- Londan Barlow, radiography and sonography major and daughter of Derek and Kelly Barlow. A Van Buren High School graduate, Barlow earned an Arkansas Scholar Award and played basketball for the Lady Pointers.
“It has been a blessing to be a part of this year’s CLC class, and I look forward to the many opportunities this will bring,” Barlow said. “I am so thankful and can’t wait to be introduced to the numerous leaders involved, as well as a handful of the leaders of this university. We have a great group of students, and I’m very excited to pursue the relationships that are to come with CLC.”
- Erica Hall, business administration major and daughter of Wesley Hall and Doug and Tina Leggett. Hall graduated from Quitman High School, where she served as president of Future Business Leaders of America, vice president of BETA Club, yearbook editor, and member of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America, Future Farmers of America and Student Council.
“I'm excited for the CLC class this year to not only get to meet and interact with fellow leaders, but enhance my leadership skills,” Hall said. “I know this class and program will continue to allow me to be a leader in college and the community just as I did at my local high school. I can't wait to see how being a part of a program like CLC will guide me in my future.”
- Nicole Maust, nursing major and daughter of Kevin and Dawn Maust. A Sallisaw High School graduate, Maust participated in the soccer and track teams during her time there, in addition to the National Honor Society and Spanish Club. She earned the Award of Excellence from the National Academy of Future Scientists & Technologists and was selected to attend the Washington Youth Summit on the Environment as a delegate representing Oklahoma.
“I am very excited to have the opportunity to be part of Dr. Beran's leadership program,” Maust said. “I am looking forward to learning how to be a leader not only on campus, but a leader throughout my everyday life. These next four years will be greatly benefit me financially and educationally, and I cannot wait to see all the new doors that will be opening.”
- Monet McGill, secondary education major and daughter Herbert McGill and Cortney Ross. McGill, a Northside High School graduate, participated in the track team at the school and also served on the panel of high school students for UAFS’ Martin Luther King Jr. celebration in January. She also has served as president of DECA.
“I have been granted an opportunity that receives the highest praise from me and my family. I am ready for this journey – I have prepared my entire life for this,” McGill said. “With that said, I'm diving in head first. With CLC, I will be able to learn. Even though that sounds simplistic. I'll learn more about myself, which is important. If one isn't learning, then they aren't growing, so are they actually living? UAFS is my home for the next four years, and I will make the best of it.”
- Mackenzie O’Kelley, biology major and daughter of Sean and Cynthia O’Kelley. O’Kelley graduated from Roland High School, where she was vice president of the Technology Student Association, student body president, caption of the cheer team, and a member of the National Honor Society.
“Being able to further my education without encountering any student loan debt is a huge blessing. But that's not the best part of this scholarship; the best part is the leadership skills we will gain and the people we will meet through this experience,” O’Kelley said. “I am so excited to start classes with Dr. Beran and all my fellow scholarship recipients. I believe this year is going to be filled with exciting opportunities for not only myself, but for every new member of the Chancellor's Leadership Council.”
- Cristina Recinos, international business major and daughter of Jose Recinos and Lorena Guevara. Recinos graduated from Northside High School, where she was a member of the National Honors Society, DECA, Mu Alpha Theta and Future Business Leaders of America.
“Being part of this CLC class is the epitome of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and that itself makes me beyond excited,” Recinos said. “It's not every day that a group of leaders are put together and are taught by Dr. Beran. I feel incredibly fortunate to be a part of this CLC class, especially after getting to know everyone.”
- Cindy Sackpraseuth, nursing major and daughter of Johnny and Kristina Sackpraseuth. A Van Buren High School graduate, Sackpraseuth served as president of Health Occupations Students of America and Art Club, in addition to being a member of National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta and Beta Club. Additionally, she was named Freshman Academy Pointer of the Year and is able to speak four languages – Laotian, Thai, English and Spanish.
“I am excited to be a part of this year's CLC class as we begin to move into a new chapter of our life. Each person has a life fulfilling dream to bring to the table, and I look forward in seeing these dreams turn into reality,” Sackpraseuth said. “UAFS has given me a beautiful glimpse of a close-knit community, and I cannot wait to explore it in its entirety with everyone. I look forward in creating timeless memories, growth of the community, and the budding of new friendships. Gandhi once said, ‘Be the change that you wish to see in the world,’ and I believe our CLC class is only one step closer.”
- Garrett Spain, business administration major and son of Milton and Michelle Spain. Spain graduated from Greenwood High School, where he served as senior class president and a member of National Beta Club, National Honor Society, DECA, marching band, student council and the Experimental Aircraft Association.
“I am very excited to experience the abundance of opportunities that will be opening up over the coming year,” Spain said. “I look forward to being a part of the growth of the university as I serve alongside the Chancellor and the other members of the council. The coming year will be life changing for all of us, and I am honored to serve on the Chancellor's Leadership Council.”
- Haylie West, biochemistry major and daughter of Bill West and Natasha Campbell. A graduate of Prairie Grove High School, West served as secretary of Future Farmers of America and president of the Supreme Council of Library Associates, and was a member of student council, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and National Honor Society. In 2016, she was named Miss Rodeo of the Ozarks.
“As a member of the 2017 Chancellors Leadership Class, I'm honored and excited to not only represent UAFS, but to learn and grow from this experience,” West said. “I have already learned a lot of valuable information which will prepare me for my future endeavors. This class is the ultimate opportunity to develop myself and my fellow CLC members into successful leaders on campus and in our communities.”
- Darian Wilson, mathematics major with teaching licensure and daughter of Darren and Angela Wilson. Wilson graduated from Greenwood High School, where she served as treasurer of BETA Club, officer in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and president of the National Honor Society, in addition to being a member of the softball and tennis teams, Mu Alpha Theta, Future Business Leaders of America and Spanish Club.
“Getting to start college has been exciting in itself, but getting to be a part of CLC has taken my excitement to a whole new level,” Wilson said. “I look forward to the opportunities to get involved in the UAFS community. Being a part of CLC will allow me to grow as an individual and learn valuable leadership skills that will last a lifetime. As an aspiring teacher, I cannot wait to see what aspects of this journey I can take with me to my classroom.”
- Drew Young, nursing major and son of Ronni and Jamie Young. A Charleston High School graduate, Young served as student council president and captain of the football team and participated in BETA Club, Future Business Leaders of America and Boys State.
“The moment I found out that I would be receiving this scholarship and be a part of this class, my heart rate went through the roof and I could not wait to meet my classmates,” Young said. “Being part of this class means that I am now a part of something bigger than myself, and I realize that this class will open many doors for me.”
About the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith
The University of Arkansas – Fort Smith is the premiere regional institution of Western Arkansas, connecting education with careers and serving as a driver of economic development and quality of place in the greater Fort Smith region. Small class sizes, dedicated faculty and staff, affordable tuition rates, and a diverse on-campus culture allow UAFS students to fully explore their areas of interest in ways that prepare them for post-graduate success academically, professionally, and personally. To find out what makes UAFS just right for you, go to www.uafs.edu.